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14-day cycling tour through North Macedonia and Northern Greece (Meteora)

Macedonia and Greece contain all the ingredients for a fantastic cycling holiday!

The 14-day cycle tour through North Macedonia and northern Greece begins in the town of Ohrid, also known as the ' Pearl of the Balkans '. The first 4 days you will cycle through North Macedonia in the southeastern direction to the border with Greece. On the 3rd day you will stay in the 700 year old monastery of Sveti Naum. The cycling routes go through the lakes of Ohrid and Prespa to the foothills of the Pelister National Park. Just before the border with Greece, you will pass the historic city of Bitola. During the Ottoman rule, Bitola was the trading city of the Balkans.

The first accommodation in Greece is in the town of Florina, situated on the foothills of the Pelister Mountains. On the way to the Lake District of Agios Panteleimon you will pass one of the 4 best wine regions in the world. On the way to Kastoria, the route passes through several nature areas with rare bird species.

During the rest day in Kastoria you can sit on the many terraces on the boulevard. The route then continues south, through sleepy villages and a beautiful nature area to the old trading town of Grevena. Grevena is situated in the midst of nature and surrounded by rivers, waterfalls and an ancient forest.

The last part of the cycle journey continues south towards the Thessalie region through the valley of the River Pinios, to Kalambaka, located at the foot of Meteora. Meteora, one of the most extraordinary monuments in the world and also the highlight of this cycling trip. The unique and impressive rock formations with atop centuries-old monasteries make it a true surreal spectacle.

This cycling holiday is concluded with a visit to the Greek port city of Thessaloniki, named after the sister of Alexander the Great. There are many historical monuments in Thessaloniki, the Aristotle square with many terraces and above all the Ladadika neighborhood with a range of traditional restaurants.

The Southwest of North Macedonia and northern Greece

Until the beginning of the 20th century, Macedonia was part of the Ottoman Empire. After the various Balkan wars, large parts of Macedonia were incorporated by the Serbs, Bulgarians and Greeks. The Greek District of Macedonia is a district that extends across Northern Greece and borders Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north. In the Greek District Of Macedonia, some 2.5 million inhabitants are both Greek and Macedonian (which means 'great man' in Greek). Macedonia was part of the former Yugoslavia and has been independent since 1991. The Republic of Macedonia has about two million inhabitants, most of whom are residing in the capital city of Skopje. The population consists mostly of ethnic Macedonians (65%), ethnic Albanians (25%) and about 4% is of Turkish origin.

As from February 2019 Macedonia is now officially called the Republic of North Macedonia. The name North Macedonia was a compromise in a long-standing struggle with Greece. That country insisted on a new name, because a province in northern Greece is also called Macedonia.

North Macedonia itself and the district of Macedonia in northern Greece are both great ' unknowns ' in cycling. Strange when you consider that these areas contain all the ingredients for a fantastic cycling holiday! Beautiful cycling areas with rich culture and history, good roads, unspoiled nature and a cordial population. In short, an absolute must to discover these areas by bicycle.

Day 1: Arrival
Day 2: Time to explore Ohrid or a short bike ride are possible, 30 km
Day 3: Ohrid-Sveti Naum, 55 km (450 ascending meters)
Day 4: Sveti Naum-Otesevo, 38 km (800 ascending meters)
Day 5: Otesevo-Bitola, 54 km (400 ascending meters)
Day 6: Bitola-Florina, 45 km (300 ascending meters) of 65 km (800 ascending meters)
Day 7: Florina-Agios Panteleimon, 65 km (500 ascending meters)
Day 8: Agios Panteleimon-Kastoria, 80 km (600 ascending meters)
Day 9: rest day or short tour around Kastoria, 35 km
Day 10: Kastoria-Grevena, 78 km (1.200 ascending meters)
Day 11: Grevena-Kastraki, 64 km (800 ascending meters)
Day 12: rest day or tour Meteora/Pinios-valley, 58 km (400 ascending meters)
Day 13: Transfer to Thessaloniki
Day 14: Transfer to Thessaloniki Airport

Including

  • 13 hotel nights with breakfast based on a double room
  • Diner on day 4
  • Lunch on all cycling days (with a group trip)
  • 11 challenging bike rides
  • Coffee, tea, fruit and snacks on the go
  • Follow car (for a group trip)
  • Luggage transport
  • Dutch/English-speaking guidance (with group trip)
  • Map of the area

Exclusive

  • Airline tickets
  • Airport transfers
  • Single supplement
  • Dinner (not on day 4), beverages and other expenses of a personal nature
  • Rent trekking bike or e-bike
  • Rent helmet
  • Rent GPS navigation
  • Travel, cancellation and bicycle insurance
  • Customer Contribution Guarantee Fund GGTO

Accommodation

You will stay in small-scale 2, 3 and 4 star hotels.

Jaap de Jong
Autumn 2018. As an autumn holiday we made the bicycle trip from Orhid (Macedonia) to Meteora (Greece). Our sixth time with Eye4Cycling. That actually says enough. And again this will not be the last time. The accompaniment by Raymond and his assistant Peter was fine again. It was our second time in Macedonia. Ohrid is becoming a familiar town where we now have our addresses. Last time we cycled the first stretch in the opposite direction. Then it looks different again, especially by the landmarks. The overnight stays are in such special and beautiful places that we loved to come back. We cycled through a rather untouched and unaffected landscape. That also applied to the first Greek days. Quiet, calm, little tourism. A quiet run-up to the climax: Meteora. A spectacular mountain landscape, about which Wikipedia says: Through centuries of wind and water erosion (once the Thessalian Plain was a inland sea), the rock formations have been given their specific and difficult-to-enforce appearance. From the ninth century hermits climbed up here, in the eleventh century followed by monks that had been expelled elsewhere. In the fourteenth century the monks began to build monasteries. There were 24 of them, six of which still remain in good condition. Of course they attract a lot of tourists, who are transported by bus. By being early, you stay ahead of the big stream of visitors. We had not really read any guides beforehand and that made Meteora even more surprising. At the end of our holidays we spent two more days walkin around in Thessaloniki. The second and busy city of Greece. Not pretty, yet interesting because of the eventful history, for example as the birthplace of Atatürk (the architect of modern Turkey). We lucked out with our travel company, sports- and likeminded couples who, like us, wanted to look for a nice restaurant with local dishes in the evening.
9 December 2018

Hans and Grietje
Before September 2018 we searched the holiday fair for a self-guided cycling holiday of about 20 days in a beautiful area. There were several tour operators, but none of them could offer a ready-made solution. All organisations only had trips for shorter periods. It was possible to stick several trips together, but then we would have to pay for the organization and extra costs of bicycle change, transportation and overnight stays. However, Eye4Cycling showed initiative and a route was planned from Macedonia to Northern Greece. A period of 20 days with some (possible) rest days and an average of 60 km per day in partly mountainous area. We had to book the air travel back and forth ourselves, so that we could find the most convenient flights, although they would be happy to mediate. After a few weeks we decided to do this, because this was the best proposal. The return flight from Thessaloniki to Amsterdam however would cost 180 euros more on the scheduled date per person than 3 days later. Within 1 day, Eye4cycling had arranged for us to stay 3 more days at the last hotel which cost only 120 euros extra for 2 persons. Now that is what i call service. All planned transits went exactly as agreed. The first evening we arrived at the hotel in Ohrid at 10 pm, but it was no problem to still serve us a hot meal. The next morning the bikes were arranged. These were of excellent quality. We didn't need the included emergency/repair kit, but it gave us a safe feeling. The navigation always brought us to our next hotel without any problems, bar for one little malfunction. The route was variable in landscapes, as we had hoped, so that we could experience a different nature every day. It was striking that we drove through beautiful valleys with almost uninhabited villages because the youth prefers cities, or even rather, the rich West. Also the hotels were very diverse, but all of good quality. The food and drink in both Macedonia and Greece are of good quality, especially Macedonia is very cheap. The 3 extra days in Thessaloniki were a wonderful addition in this historic city. We were so satisfied with the organisation, which we have offered to make a positive report on this. Hansel and Gretel (false names because of privacy)
20 December 2018

Combi Tour North Macedonia and Greece (Meteora), hotel trekking 14 days (group)
Group trip, guidance, half board, luggage transport, trailer
Prices per person
(Based on 2 persons per room; in case of a group trip a departure guarantee is valid for a minimum of 6 participants and the maximum number of participants is 12)

19 May to 1 June € 1149,-
3 July to 16 July € 1149,-
4 September to 17 September € 1149,-
Single supplement € 175,-
Airport
transfers
(arrival on Ohrid and departure of Thessaloniki)
€ 50,-

Combi trip North Macedonia and Greece (Meteora), hotel trek 14 days (self-guided)
Self-guided trip (GPS), bed and breakfast, luggage transport
Prices are based on a minimum number of 2 people.

START DATES ON TUESDAYS AND FRIDAYS
Minimum number of participants: 2 persons

May to October
€ 1149,-
May to October(without luggage transport) € 895,-
Season surcharge July and August, per person € 50,-
Single supplement € 175,-
Airport
transfers (arrival on Ohrid and departure of Thessaloniki)
€ 75,-

Combination trip North Macedonia - Greece, rental bike AND GPS
Prices per person

Rent Ghost Hybrid - Panamo X3 € 150,-
Rent e-bike € 240,-
Rental GPS € 50,-
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